OPINION: Date-night equality

You do dinner, meet up with some friends at the bar and make a quick trip to the parents’ house for a visit. The things you do with your significant other add up throughout the week, literally.

Often times in old-fashioned relationships, one person is footing the bill, so I’m speaking out for the thin wallet carriers, the pocket lint keepers and the saddest of them all, the I-really-can’t-afford-this-but-it-will-make-them-happy romantics.

I previously thought it was generous for one person in the relationship to pay the bill on dates, no questions asked, but when putting things into perspective, their generosity seemed grossly unfair.

Let’s do some quick math. Dinner: $35. Bar tab: $15.

Expressing traditional gender roles: Pricey.

Couples may be spending upwards of $50 per week, $200 per month and for those in it for the long, lavish haul, $2,400 per year.

The numbers are startling. Some poor souls are doling out the cash with no reprieve and for fear of coming off as stingy, remain silent.

To be fair, college students experience shortages and surpluses when it comes to their cash flow, so at times one person may say, “I got this,” while the other happily obliges. That’s respectable and polite.

Most importantly it’s about being honest.

If you find yourself in a long-term relationship and cannot talk openly about personal finances, you’re going to encounter some challenges and someone is going to feel the financial burden.

Discuss an amount you can afford to spend on each other for the holiday, take ownership of a bill when it’s your turn or allow your significant other to take ownership of a bill.

And splitting the bill should never be out of question. Call me crazy, call me frugal, but don’t call me when you’ve had enough of your stingy significant other.

Simply suggest to them that you split the bill. It’s that easy, but it may take a dose of courage. It may come as a shock at first. However, if this person cares about you and your well-being, the shock will subside.

To all “taken” college students, the role of the provider should not be one-sided simply because it’s customary. Open your mind to the financial possibilities and depending on your situation, open or close your wallet.

Photo | Shannon Millard, Photo Editor